Full Draw Here: ATP Kuala Lumpur 2013 Draw
Alongside the Thailand Open, the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur is the second of the ATP World Tour events in Asia this week, both of which are offering 250 ranking points to the winner. However, this event is offering more prize money than Thailand. The event is fairly new with this being the fifth edition of the Malaysian Open. Nikolay Davydenko won the event in 2009 and is the only past winner to be competing here.
David Ferrer (Player Profile) has won just two titles this year but will be many peoples choice to get a third this week. The top seed took two indoor titles at the back end of last year in Valencia and Paris. The winner of an all qualifier match will take Ferrer on in round two with the likes of Michael Russell, Somdev Devvarman and Matteo Viola in the running.
It would be a surprise to see Nikolay Davydenko take a second title here given his decline in recent years although the Russian is still capable of great one-off performances. Interestingly he has a 4-2 record over top seed Ferrer which will give him confidence should they face off in the quarter finals. Pablo Cuevas uses a protected ranking to earn his spot in the draw and faces Davydenko with the winner up against either wildcard Ryan Harrison or Joao Sousa. Sousa has shown his competence indoors after making the semis in St Petersburg and was able to claim a special exempt entry for the tournament.
Jurgen Melzer took the Memphis indoors title last year after outstanding performances against big servers John Isner and Milos Raonic although disappointingly for him, the big servers he deals handily with are few and far between in the draw. Horacio Zeballos or a qualifier await in round two.
Wimbledon Boys finalist Hyeon Chung makes his main tour debut and has more than a winnable match against Federico Delbonis. The Argentinian has shown himself to be an outstanding prospect on the clay but the same cannot be said for his hard court prowess at this point. Delbonis has played just two indoor matches on the main tour in the past two years, losing both. He won just two games against Roger-Vasselin in St Petersburg and could be ripe for an upset. Vasek Pospisil hurt himself in the heartbreaking Davis Cup defeat to Janko Tipsarevic but hopefully should make his return here, Victor Hanescu awaits in round one. Hanescu lost to young Russian Karen Khachanov in St Petersburg, a highly surprising result.
Julien Benneteau plays Michal Przysiezny for the second tournament running after defeating the Pole in four sets at the US Open this year. Przysiezny showed no sign of any issue that forced his retirement in the dead rubber at the Davis Cup as he made the semi final of St Petersburg before losing to Ernests Gulbis. Benneteau will be fairly confident of making the quarter final with either Pablo Andujar or Grega Zemlja next up. The latter made his name indoors last year but has failed to push on while Andujar is likely to pose little threat on the surface.
Nicolas Almagro (Player Profile) takes to the court for the first time since the US Open when he plays either Daniel Brands or Adrian Mannarino in the second round. Both have fairly strong serves but the advantage has to be with Brands who showed his potential last year in taking Juan Martin Del Potro to a third set tiebreak. Almagro could be surprised here if he is still not match fit and Brands or Mannarino play to their potential.
Stanislas Wawrinka’s (Player Profile) quarter rounds off the draw as the Swiss plays his first ATP match since losing to Djokovic in five sets in New York. It seems fairly unsurprising that Wawrinka’s rise has coincided with the downfall of Roger Federer with Stan finally coming out of the shadow of his far more decorated countryman. He is yet to take an indoor title in his career but has a great platform to do so here. Either Carlos Berlocq or Marcos Baghdatis will be up first, the latter of which Wawrinka defeated at the US Open in four sets despite an attempted fightback from the Cypriot. If they do meet again, Baghdatis will be hoping for his first victory against Wawrinka at the fifth time of asking.
Dmitry Tursunov plays a qualifier and could face a fellow Russian in round two should Alex Bogomolov Jr. advance. However Bogomolov will have his work cut out against the Spaniard who has took the challenger and ITF scene by storm – earlier going more than 30 matches unbeaten – Pablo Carreno Busta. Last month, he showed it was not just clay he could be successful on as he won the title in Segovia Challenger against the big serving Albano Olivetti.
SF – Ferrer def. Pospisil
SF – Wawrinka def. Brands
F – Wawrinka def. Ferrer